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I am planning on doing a little bit of studying for the boards during the summer just to keep things fresh and review some weak points. Do not worry, this is not at all going to be how I use most of my summer but I thought it might be useful to lay some groundwork before going hardcore next summer.

If you were to review the summer after MS1, what would be the most efficient way to use your time? I am only going to study maybe an hour or two a day so it is not much time by any means. What should I focus on, how should I go about it, and do you think this prep will benefit me in the long run?

Thanks to everyone, the advice and support on this forum has been invaluable :)
 
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psipsina

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The boards isn't heavy on 1st year. I'd say physio and biochem if you must.
 

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The best advice is to either take it easy, reserach, or work.

IF you still do not want to do any of the above, then studying depends on your first year curriculum. At my school we started systems 2nd semester M1 (MSK and Neuro). So, in my case, I could have made sure both those systems were properly annotated into FA, so that when I did study for Step 1, I wouldn't have to annotate and could just study.
 

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The boards isn't heavy on 1st year. I'd say physio and biochem if you must.
I'd recommend against doing anything.However, if you insist on doing something, I would only focus only on physiology.

The biochem you learn first year is not clinical enough for the boards. If you do decide to do some biochem, I'd grab a first aid and focus on what is in there. Biochem is a relatively minor part of the boards.
 

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why dont you just listen to goljan its a passive way to study when your bored

but seriously you should be at the beach or something
 

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Pardon the noob question but what is the "First Aid" everyone refers to in these threads and where can I get it?
 

MossPoh

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Pardon the noob question but what is the "First Aid" everyone refers to in these threads and where can I get it?
Walk into nearly any chain bookstore in the country and go to the medical section. Find First Aid. Voila. Or google...
 

sexyman

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I dont think reading FA would be very hepful. FA makes very little sense if you dont already have a background in the subject.

I would rec enjoying your summer.
 

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Not FA. No use to you after first year. But if I could go back and do it all over again, I would have gotten a Q-bank like UWorld, and used it only for review of stuff that I had already covered in school.

My school has anatomy first term of first year, then CMBM is second term, which is kind of the foundations of microbiology, biochem, and heme-onc. Third term is neuro. So those are the subjects I would have used UWorld to review.

And then I would have kept the qbank, and used it to supplement my studies for 2nd year, as well as the occasional review of topics covered in first year.

UWorld makes you think about things in a board-like manner, in addition to helping you keep all this stuff fresh in your mind. I think UWorld has been probably the best resource I have used to study to date in med school. There's just something about missing questions that drives a point home in a way that reading it off a lecture handout just can't.

And don't worry about ruining the qbank for yourself because you've seen all the questions already by the time you actually study for boards. If you remember all the questions when you get to that point, you're probably in pretty good shape. And there are other qbanks too.

I know people will disagree with this, but that is how I would do it if I could do it all over again.
 

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I dont think reading FA would be very hepful. FA makes very little sense if you dont already have a background in the subject.

I would rec enjoying your summer.
You know guys, I flipped through FA, and some of it is entirely covered in MSI. So... I don't think it could hurt to memorize some of those pathways, or bacteria factoids, etc. *shrug*

Of course much of the not yet covered clinical stuff doesn't make much sense and should definitely just be skipped over. I'm thinking about reviewing a bit this summer too, like the OP.

Possibly physio- go over it and make sure I understand every subject in it well. And possibly some light annotating in FA, depending on my mood. Rest of time will be devoted to hobbies, exercise, resting, and travel. Still undecided on to research or not to research.

But... I kind of like the idea of getting a real firm handle on the basic science component of Step 1, way in advance... I don't know. I could change my mind by the time June, July rolls around. :p
 

MossPoh

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Maybe it is just dependent on school. My neuro, biochem and physio classes have all covered FA almost verbatim. The only parts not covered were the more pharm/path oriented parts of each. I don't think it'd hurt or be any mentally exhausting feat to simply skim over a few things if you feel up for it. (If you don't then no biggie either) I don't know about others, but every time I see something it gets a little more solid in my head or comes back a little faster the next time.
 

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I kind of like the idea of getting a real firm handle on the basic science component of Step 1, way in advance
Chances are good that you already have that handle. The M1-only stuff in FA is pretty limited, to say the least. Most of biochem, some of neuro, and the more detailed aspects of phys are really all that won't get covered again in path.
 

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I'm planning on making my way through BRS physio before 2nd year starts just to solidify my physio knowledge. That's pretty much it.
 

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Have a lot of fun. That's my recommendation. From here on out, your control over your time really decreases. People told me that before I am where I am now, but you really have no idea until you get into the mix of third and fourth year. Seriously, do some fun stuff. I would also recommend doing some research. That will go a long way on your residency apps and you can manage both research and fun during the summer. Make some time for a trip. Your time to do that will only decrease from here forward.

And in the evenings if you want to read something to study, read physio. Everything else is of very little use for step 1. Your biochem and anatomy can be re-mastered during the summer before taking the exam.
 

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You know guys, I flipped through FA, and some of it is entirely covered in MSI. So... I don't think it could hurt to memorize some of those pathways, or bacteria factoids, etc. *shrug*

Of course much of the not yet covered clinical stuff doesn't make much sense and should definitely just be skipped over. I'm thinking about reviewing a bit this summer too, like the OP.

Possibly physio- go over it and make sure I understand every subject in it well. And possibly some light annotating in FA, depending on my mood. Rest of time will be devoted to hobbies, exercise, resting, and travel. Still undecided on to research or not to research.

But... I kind of like the idea of getting a real firm handle on the basic science component of Step 1, way in advance... I don't know. I could change my mind by the time June, July rolls around. :p

Yeah I was going to say, while I don't actually remember most of it, the general subjects in the first half of the book (micro, biochem, gen pharm) all looks like stuff we've covered already (in addition to MSK and Neuro which we've done).

But yeah, don't remember a damn thing. That normal?
 

MilkmanAl

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But yeah, don't remember a damn thing. That normal?
Yes, and you still won't remember any of it come Step 1 studying time, even if you review it now. That's the point.
 

MossPoh

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Yes, and you still won't remember any of it come Step 1 studying time, even if you review it now. That's the point.
Although, one can make the argument that you will also relearn it faster and more efficiently when that point comes as well. Both are true. You will undoubtedly forget the stuff, but every time you do go over something it comes back faster.

I've forgotten nearly all of my German, but I guarantee if I went over there I'd be back near the same speed within a month.

I think I'm just being devil's advocate because I feel like it though.
 

MilkmanAl

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Although, one can make the argument that you will also relearn it faster and more efficiently when that point comes as well.
Meh, perhaps. That certainly hasn't been the case with me and biochem, though. Like I said earlier, you go through pretty much all of the useful parts of M1 during your second year anyway, so there isn't a whole lot of incentive to review.
 

dienekes88

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I am planning on doing a little bit of studying for the boards during the summer just to keep things fresh and review some weak points. Do not worry, this is not at all going to be how I use most of my summer but I thought it might be useful to lay some groundwork before going hardcore next summer.

If you were to review the summer after MS1, what would be the most efficient way to use your time? I am only going to study maybe an hour or two a day so it is not much time by any means. What should I focus on, how should I go about it, and do you think this prep will benefit me in the long run?

Thanks to everyone, the advice and support on this forum has been invaluable :)
1) Read BRS Physiology and get to know everything pretty in depth (assuming you've covered all of physiology your first year).
2) Read Biochemistry (Either Lippincott or High Yield), and become familiar with things.
3) Read Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, but read it with "first pass" mentality. You're just reading it to get familiar with everything and understand the organization of everything. You definitely do not need to memorize it. This is assuming you have Microbiology 2nd year...

Do it because you like it... not because you feel like you have to learn it for Step 1. The guys I see who are absolute study-monsters and retain the information genuinely love the acquisition of knowledge. The study-monsters who are stressing about boards... less retention.

Other things to do:
1) Get in on some research. Try to get your name in print.
2) Relax, work out, be outside.
3) Have a couple beers.
 

Guile

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Yes, and you still won't remember any of it come Step 1 studying time, even if you review it now. That's the point.
Definitely disagree. Why should we study anything now when we can just "learn it later"? The more you look at something the more you will retain and the faster what you don't retain will come back.

1) Read BRS Physiology and get to know everything pretty in depth (assuming you've covered all of physiology your first year).
2) Read Biochemistry (Either Lippincott or High Yield), and become familiar with things.
3) Read Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, but read it with "first pass" mentality. You're just reading it to get familiar with everything and understand the organization of everything. You definitely do not need to memorize it. This is assuming you have Microbiology 2nd year...

Do it because you like it... not because you feel like you have to learn it for Step 1. The guys I see who are absolute study-monsters and retain the information genuinely love the acquisition of knowledge. The study-monsters who are stressing about boards... less retention.

Other things to do:
1) Get in on some research. Try to get your name in print.
2) Relax, work out, be outside.
3) Have a couple beers.
This is great advice. I agree with everything except that about biochem. I didn't have anything on my exam regarding biochem that wasn't in First Aid. I think Rapid Review Biochem is overkill and Lippincott's Biochem is a HUGE waste of time.
 

MilkmanAl

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Agree to disagree, I suppose. I still think a year is too far out to make any difference in your retention or recall, and I have my own experience with biochem and neuro to back that statement up.
 

dienekes88

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Agree to disagree, I suppose. I still think a year is too far out to make any difference in your retention or recall, and I have my own experience with biochem and neuro to back that statement up.
You don't study from far out with the mindset that you're going to have it in the bank and never touch it again. When you forget a lot and then go back and re-read it, you end up having the "oh yeah!" moments and retaining more after that second pass. After the 5th pass, you're just cruising.

For me, that's the point of hardcore repetition in all my studying. There's better long term retention, and review at a later time happens faster with higher yield. Relearning is almost always easier than learning for the first time (assuming you didn't learn it wrong the first time).
 

Guile

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You don't study from far out with the mindset that you're going to have it in the bank and never touch it again. When you forget a lot and then go back and re-read it, you end up having the "oh yeah!" moments and retaining more after that second pass. After the 5th pass, you're just cruising.
This.
 

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Interesting advices.

I wonder what the average scores (and the basic science grades) of people who advice to not touch anything board related until boards vs. people who advice to understand and be familiar with board concepts are.
 

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RxnMan

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Focus should be not at all. There's no point in studying for Step 1 during your MS1 summer.

Interesting advices.

I wonder what the average scores (and the basic science grades) of people who advice to not touch anything board related until boards vs. people who advice to understand and be familiar with board concepts are.
1) I didn't study for Step 1 during my MS1 summer and I crushed the boards.

2) Advice is it's own plural - like sheep and many sheep.
 

dienekes88

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Hey. I'm not very smart, but I like this stuff. It's pretty exciting to learn and in doing so become part of a pretty amazing tradition of physician-scientists.

It's partly the attitude a student brings to the material. There's this culture of "I don't want to work hard; I don't want to have to learn this; this is all so miserable; poor me" in medical school. If you buy into it, you're going to hate it. On the other hand, you could just get it done and think about the fact that you have the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of brilliant men and women who have dedicated their lives to compiling the facts that you're learning.

Focus should be not at all. There's no point in studying for Step 1 during your MS1 summer.

1) I didn't study for Step 1 during my MS1 summer and I crushed the boards.

2) Advice is it's own plural - like sheep and many sheep.
Well, you're pretty darn smart. Good on ya, buddy. :thumbup:

Some of us aren't at your level.
 
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dienekes88

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May i ask why?
It's too comprehensive. There's 10x more detail than is required. However, I think it's better to have a good foundation provided that you have the time.

High-Yield biochem has very little context, but it's short (101 pages). It's pretty much a bunch of facts and pathways in your face. However, my opinion is that some of this just won't make sense to a guy like me unless I dedicate all of my time to it. That would just be ridiculous. The organization is pretty alright, and I think it over preps you. However, getting through it at least twice will give you a fighting chance on questions that would otherwise be left to wild guesses. Part of it is just learning the vocabulary and figuring out which answer choices are just plain ridiculous. If the question is talking about lipid/triglyceride synthesis, you can probably strike off the answers related to the Cori cycle and the HMP-shunt. I'll take a 1 in 3 chance over a 1 in 5 chance any day.

I'll sometimes read it on the crapper, on the subway, or at the climbing gym in between problems. Needless to say, you probably shouldn't borrow my copy. :smuggrin:
 

RxnMan

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...Well, you're pretty darn smart. Good on ya, buddy. :thumbup:

Some of us aren't at your level.
Thanks, I guess, but I'm not trying to brag. My point that you'll have enough other things happen and things to study between now and MS2 summer that studying for Step 1 now just simply isnt' a good use of one's time. Definitely not worth stressing over. You'll have plenty of anxiety soon enough.

But hey, anyone can do what they want.
 

Guile

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May i ask why?
It goes into way too much depth. It would be a good book for an undergrad biochem course. If you want to learn that much biochem for med school or step 1, then knock yourself out, but I can tell you, it's a big waste of time. You won't see that much on step 1 and you will never need it again for the wards (not on the level covered in Lippincott) or step 2.
 

dienekes88

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Thanks, I guess, but I'm not trying to brag. My point that you'll have enough other things happen and things to study between now and MS2 summer that studying for Step 1 now just simply isnt' a good use of one's time. Definitely not worth stressing over. You'll have plenty of anxiety soon enough.

But hey, anyone can do what they want.
Well, it's a game of different perspectives.

I'm taking Step 1 in 7.5 weeks.

Right now, I'm thinking back on all the time I wasted. Back then, I thought I was working fairly hard reading the syllabus/text book and doing a multi-pass technique for both my slides and my notes. I had no idea what it meant to work hard.

I really do wish I had done more than just read through BRS Physiology once in the summer before 2nd year.
 

RxnMan

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I'm taking Step 1 in 7.5 weeks.

Right now, I'm thinking back on all the time I wasted...
I get what you're saying, but on a practical level, those thoughts don't serve you. Focus on generating a study plan and following that plan. Don't let other students freak you out. Work hard, do what you need to in order to focus, and work at a sustainable rate.

I had no idea what it meant to work hard...
Don't worry, it gets worse. :laugh:
 

dienekes88

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I get what you're saying, but on a practical level, those thoughts don't serve you. Focus on generating a study plan and following that plan. Don't let other students freak you out. Work hard, do what you need to in order to focus, and work at a sustainable rate.

Don't worry, it gets worse. :laugh:
Oh. You thought I was referring to myself. I wasn't exactly clear. I was referring to the fellows and attendings with whom I conduct research. I still sleep 7 hours per night and work out 5x per week, because I know that's what's sustainable and keeps me relatively relaxed about all this stuff. That's why I'm thinking I have no idea what it means to work hard.

Anyway, other people can learn from my experience. I started pretty early but wish that I could've started even earlier; the old "slow and steady" thing. I don't get these people who are relying on cramming. They must be really freakin' smart. Even the smart kids could do even better if they started early and plugged away.

The one thing that I did do right was to break from the typical medical student "this sucks" mentality regarding studying.
 
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I was gonna get a tattoo of the kreb cycle. Are you guys advising against it?
 
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I am planning on doing a little bit of studying for the boards during the summer just to keep things fresh and review some weak points. Do not worry, this is not at all going to be how I use most of my summer but I thought it might be useful to lay some groundwork before going hardcore next summer.

If you were to review the summer after MS1, what would be the most efficient way to use your time? I am only going to study maybe an hour or two a day so it is not much time by any means. What should I focus on, how should I go about it, and do you think this prep will benefit me in the long run?

Thanks to everyone, the advice and support on this forum has been invaluable :)
if anything, I would lightly read First Aid,...only the subjects you covered in first year. This is just to make sure you understand topics you already learned or should have learned. My school did not cover certain topics (if they did, it was done terribly), so I felt it was worthwhile to spend some time reading and understanding it before the dedicated step 1 study time. But this is just my opinion.
 

Guile

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if anything, I would lightly read First Aid,...only the subjects you covered in first year. This is just to make sure you understand topics you already learned or should have learned. My school did not cover certain topics (if they did, it was done terribly), so I felt it was worthwhile to spend some time reading and understanding it before the dedicated step 1 study time. But this is just my opinion.
I agree with this. I would not try to learn new topics this summer. Just light reading of topics you've already covered would be great.
 

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Time off or research is the best call. If you want to study, my advice would be to go over whatever your weak areas from first year were. If you bombed a unit in anatomy or phys go over the material again. If your school (like many) doesn't teach much embryology, grab a review book and study that. In contrast to what other people are saying, I think this is the time to learn new material or material you didn't learn well the first time. Review is not much help until closer to the test.
 

Guile

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Time off or research is the best call. If you want to study, my advice would be to go over whatever your weak areas from first year were. If you bombed a unit in anatomy or phys go over the material again. If your school (like many) doesn't teach much embryology, grab a review book and study that. In contrast to what other people are saying, I think this is the time to learn new material or material you didn't learn well the first time. Review is not much help until closer to the test.
I highly doubt you're going to remember some embryology you read at night from time to time over the summer when it comes time to study for step 1. I would say it would be best to shore up your physiology knowledge. That will serve you best going into pathophysiology and pathology, which is most of the boards.